Chiropractic Myths Debunked
Chiropractic medicine has been a respected form of complementary medicine for managing pain for over 125 years.
Despite its popularity, there are still many misconceptions surrounding chiropractic care.
If you're considering chiropractic care but are unsure due to these myths, read on to learn the facts.
MYTH – Chiropractic Adjustments are Unsafe
This is not true. When performed by a licensed chiropractor, spinal adjustments are extremely safe. In fact, compared to medical treatments for pain relief, chiropractic care is a much safer option. Surgical procedures can result in complications for approximately 1 in 4 patients1, and around 2% of patients even die within 30 days of surgery2. Medications like NSAIDs carry risks of ulcers, heart attacks, and stroke3, while prescription painkillers are highly addictive.
Chiropractic care offers a gentler and more natural approach to long-term pain relief without the concerning side effects.
MYTH – Chiropractic Care is Ineffective
Contrary to the belief that chiropractic care is nothing more than a placebo effect, numerous studies demonstrate its effectiveness in managing pain and promoting recovery from injuries.4 Many individuals turn to chiropractic care as an alternative to back or neck surgery, while others seek it as a natural alternative to prescription pain medication.
Chiropractic care has been proven to be an effective tool for preventing and managing pain.5
MYTH – Chiropractic Care is Expensive
Chiropractic care is more affordable than many people assume. In fact, chiropractic treatment for low back pain is approximately 20% cheaper than medical care.6 Many insurance companies cover chiropractic care, including Medicare. Self-pay options are also available for those without insurance coverage.
It is recommended to check with your insurance provider to determine the extent of coverage for chiropractic care.
MYTH – Chiropractic Adjustments are Painful
Contrary to popular belief, chiropractic adjustments are not painful. Although adjustments may be associated with popping sounds, the purpose is to relieve pain, not cause it. Some individuals may experience immediate relief, while others might feel slight discomfort during an adjustment, similar to the discomfort felt during a massage. It is possible to experience mild muscle soreness after an adjustment, but this discomfort is temporary.
Chiropractors also offer other natural pain relief treatments such as massage therapy and acupuncture.
MYTH – Chiropractors “Crack” Your Bones
The popping sounds often associated with chiropractic adjustments are not bones cracking. These sounds are caused by the release of air pockets between joints, similar to cracking knuckles.
Chiropractors adjust the spine in a gentle and effective manner to provide pain relief and improve functionality.
MYTH – Chiropractors Only Treat Back Pain
While chiropractors specialize in treating back pain, their expertise extends beyond that. Chiropractic care aims to restore balance to the nervous system, which can improve various ailments, including headaches and migraines, arthritis, neck pain, muscle pain, shoulder, elbow, wrist, and hand pain, hip, knee, ankle, and foot pain, fibromyalgia, scoliosis, and poor posture.
If you are unsure whether chiropractic care can address your specific health issue, consult with a chiropractor or consider physical therapy as an alternative.
MYTH – Chiropractors Aren’t “Real” Doctors
While chiropractors may not hold medical degrees, they are indeed doctors.7 Chiropractors undergo extensive training in various subjects, including anatomy, physiology, neurology, and radiology. They must complete thousands of hours of instruction, even more than many medical degrees require. Chiropractic school graduates must also pass national board exams, as well as a state licensing board exam to obtain the legal privilege to practice in their community.